The Maori Council says the water rights battle is far from over.
It's already working on an appeal after the High Court ruled in the Crown's favour.
In his judgement Justice Ron Young says he's satisfied that three key decisions by the Government to advance its asset sales programme, which were challenged by the council, were not reviewable by the court.
Council chairman Maanu Paul is disappointed with the result.
"We've got to get our strategic planners in action and research very thoroughly the judge's decision and see where there is room for us for the appeal to occur."
He says they've spent around $300,000 on the case so far.
"Another 300,000-400,000 looks like is required and Maori are paying for it."
Maori Council lawyer Felix Geiringer says they'll be appealing - but need to go through the decision carefully.
"The Crown has said that the case needs to be resolved urgently, counsel has been responses to that at every stage, so I'm expecting an appeal to be lodged very quickly."
Labour's state-owned enterprises spokesman Clayton Cosgrove says it'll be more taxpayer money down the drain, on a policy which was a train wreck from the outset.
"We've got 80 percent plus in many, many opinion polls saying they don't want their assets sold. The Government I think is duty-bound to taihoa until people have actually had a formal say in a referendum."
Clayton Cosgrove says the petition to hold a referendum has gathered more than 300,000 signatures.